Peter Schmuck's thoughts and observations from Orioles' intrasquad games

No matter how pleasant it is to spend a few weeks in Florida this time of year, you can only watch so many pitchers cover first base or throw off the half-mound before you start pining for some actual competition.

The players and coaches feel the same way, so everybody was happy to be out on the back fields for Wednesday’s two concurrent intrasquad games at the Ed Smith Stadium

spring training



Nobody kept score, but there were some highlights, starting with

Chris Davis

’ opposite-field homer off teammate

Tommy Hunter

on the field that is built to the exact same dimensions as

Camden Yards


There were a number of big swings and nice – albeit very brief – performances.

Brian Roberts

had an RBI single in his first at-bat.

Nate McLouth

hit a long double off

Zach Britton

. Manny Machado lined a deep shot to right field off

Brian Matusz

that was caught up against the fence.  L.J. Hoes made a nice throw to cut down Johnny Ruettiger trying to score on a single by

Russ Canzler


My top choice, however, was the one-inning performance of Matusz, who displayed very good velocity and solid command in his first taste of spring competition.

Nick Markakis

became the third


player to be sent out for further examination of what

Buck Showalter

describes as acid reflux. This might seem like one of those what-are-the-odds things, since it’s the first time I’ve ever heard the words “acid reflux” in a training camp in all my years of covering baseball’

So, I’ll just guess that the physicals have been modified this year to look for some additional issues. Acid reflux can erode the esophagus and even contribute to

throat cancer

, so it’s a good idea to get a handle on it. It generally can be controlled well with medication.

Knock on wood. The Orioles have had a fairly uneventful camp so far when it comes to injuries, though

Conor Jackson

has been grappling with some lower back soreness and catcher

Luis Martinez

tweaked his left oblique on Tuesday. They both said they felt better on Wednesday, but probably are doubtful for Thursday’s intrasquad game.

Nolan Reimold

did not take part in the intrasquad action and won’t again on Thursday, but not because he has suffered any setback in his comeback from neck surgery. He’s excited to be taking part in full baseball activities again and Showalter is just trying to slow him down.

Took part in my first


Hangout video chat on Wednesday afternoon.

Got some heat for not wearing a loud Hawaiian shirt for my debut, so I’ll remember to dress more inappropriately next time.